This internship not only gave me experience but boosted my confidence in terms of understanding my capabilities and abilities to build a cybersecurity professional career.
Name: Shabnam Shaikh
Major: PM - Cybersecurity
Employer: CohnReznick, LLP
Location: New York, NY
How did you find the internship/co-op? What was the interview process like? I received this internship opportunity via LinkedIn. The interview process consisted of 4 rounds - which included the 2 technical rounds, a behavioral round, and final HR round.
What have been the most interesting aspects of your internship? For me the most interesting aspect was that the team at CohnReznick LLP did not underestimate my skills as an intern. They gave me opportunities to showcase my technical understanding in performing tasks for clients.
What campus activities or courses do you think helped you, or would have helped you, with this internship? The courses like ENPM691 (Hacking of C programs and Unix Binaries), ENPM665 (Cloud Security), ENPM685 (Security Tools for Information Security), and ENPM694 (Networks & Protocols) helped me utilize these skill sets during the internship.
How would you describe the company culture? What was the most helpful thing your supervisor did to make you feel comfortable at the organization? The firm maintains inclusive and multi-dimensional culture. My supervisor has been kind enough to introduce me to new projects and evaluated my performance in a timely fashion. He helped me set my goals and objectives as part of this internship. He highlighted my strong skills to the team and appreciated my performance throughout.
Was there diversity among your colleagues within the department and throughout your internship/co-op experience? Yes, the company has wide cultural diversity and its fun to learn and network with people around.
Was there a formal program for all interns at the company? Was peer support available throughout the internship? The entire internship training and onboarding events were a part of a formal intern program. The interns were also assigned a buddy from the organization whom I could discuss my concerns about anything and everything as part of the organization.
How have your career or academic goals changed as a result of this internship experience? This internship not only gave me experience but boosted my confidence in terms of understanding my capabilities and abilities to build a cybersecurity professional career.
What advice would you give other UMD engineering students seeking an internship or co-op position? Things do take time but being consistent to learn and grow is extremely important. Do not restrict yourself from asking questions; the more you interact with your team and supervisor, the more you feel the dots are connected and it gives you a holistic view. When looking for a job opportunity, do not be disheartened, be patient enough for your chance to shine! Our University hosts beautiful career fairs where you can interact with organizations of your interest and get to know about internship opportunities they have.